Staying up?

Rarely are eyes on Hungarian domestic football.  This becomes even more so as the country becomes increasingly wrought in a battle to determine the direction it takes in the future.  The politics of the governing party, Fidesz, and its commander-in-chief, Mr Orban have become increasing illiberal in the past seven years or so in power.  Orban himself has indeed proclaimed the failure of Western liberal democracy and sought to become the champion of the type of populism that is infecting so much of politics across the world.  Large-scale protests would bookend the days on either side of this game as the government seeks to shut down the Central European University (CEU) with the help of accelerated law making process.  CEU is funded by the nemesis of the Alt-Right, global conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites, Mr G(y) Soros.

Like Wembley Way…

 
But what does this have to do with football?  Not much really, I just wanted a chance to pin my allegiance with the rainbow alliance.  Orban’s love of football is well-known prompting the hilarious* placard ‘Nemzeti focializmus’  (Nemzeti socializmus = National Socialism.  Foci – football) and the numerous stadiums have allegedly been used to funnel cash to his mates who owner building companies.   (* All wordplays that you understand in a foreign language are hilarious.)
 
MTK (chairmaned by Fidesz founding member and long-time Orbanite (Deutsch Tamas)) play Mezokovesd (chairmaned by Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Taxation, Major of Mezokovesd and long-time Orbanite (Tallai Andras)) in the newly built Uj Hidegkuti Nandor Stadion (built by construction companies (allegedly) owned by/close to the Major of Felcsut (Orban’s home village), former gas fitter and long-time Orbanite (Meszaros Lajos)).  One sport and politics cocktail, please.
 
Anyway, MTK were sh’t last time out.  Mezokovesd have been sh’t since their manager left them to join megarich Puskas Akademia of Felcsut who are likely to be repromoted next year after their relegation prompted universal joy amongst much of Hungary’s football community.  Kanta was back from suspension for this one and Torghelle had shaken off his knock to start.  Ramos and Gera were still out and word on the street is that they are done for the season.  Mezokovesd do not bring many household names to any party.  Marek Stretsik won a cap for the Czech Republic when I was still considered young and Tarmo Kink brings a classically odd Estonian name into the mix.  That is probably your lot though.
 
MTK started well in the warm sunshine after reserve keeper Frederico Groppioni’s son had kicked the game off (in a ceremonial sense) to celebrate his 8th birthday.  After that excitement, Kanta snatched a shot wide on the turn and Torghelle going close in the first quarter.  Mezokovesd offered little as an attacking threat and MTK finally got the goal after about 35 minutes.  Torghelle playing a weird one-two with a sprawling keeper before taking a touch or two too many for comfort in the box and stabbing home.  MTK have never scored more than once a game in the new stadium.  In fact, for the six games played here, they have scored exactly one goal a game.  Today would be different.  And we wouldn’t have to wait long, as right back Baki Akos surged forward (surge in a Hungarian football sense at a pace slightly below jogging), cut past by a half-hearted attempt at a tackle before curling into the top left corner on his weaker foot.   2-0 and good for it.
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Crowd goes wild…
Half-time came and went.  The second half came and went.  I still have not eaten a pretzel at the new stadium: it is a famine (in the non-biblical sense).  MTK looked comfortable and were far more likely to get the third goal.  Kolomec fluffed another decent one-on-one.  Nikhazi had a double deflection well saved.  Mezokovesd looked beaten with 25 minutes to go.  They go winless in five.  So winless in fact that they are in danger of falling into our nice relegation scrap. 
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Good job boys.
Debrecen won and Diosgyor got an unexpected point from those green folk from the IX District.  Our relegation scrap is that nice that I am going to introduce a new feature.  It is a league table (or an extract thereof).   Next time, I may even include some up and down arrows. 
 
 

5

 

 

Szombathelyi H…

 

 

25

 

 

10

 

 

5

 

 

10

 

 

-2

 

 

35

 

 

L W W L W

 

 

6

 

 

Paksi SE

 

 

25

 

 

8

 

 

11

 

 

6

 

 

+2

 

 

35

 

 

D D W W W

 

 

7

 

 

Újpest

 

 

25

 

 

7

 

 

11

 

 

7

 

 

-1

 

 

32

 

 

D L D L W

 

 

8

 

 

Mezőkövesd-Zsóry

 

 

25

 

 

8

 

 

7

 

 

10

 

 

-9

 

 

31

 

 

L L D L L

 

 

9

 

 

Debrecen

 

 

25

 

 

8

 

 

6

 

 

11

 

 

-4

 

 

30

 

 

W W L W L

 

 

10

 

 

MTK

 

 

25

 

 

7

 

 

8

 

 

10

 

 

-8

 

 

29

 

 

W L W L W

 

 

11

 

 

Diósgyőr

 

 

25

 

 

7

 

 

4

 

 

14

 

 

-19

 

 

25

 

 

D W L L L

 

 

12

 

 

Gyirmót

 

 

25

 

 

4

 

 

7

 

 

14

 

 

-24

 

 

19

 

 

L W D L D

 

 
Although Szombathely and Paks are probably safe, they will probably want another three points in the next couple of weeks so they can set their sights on their lakeside langos without any relegation worries.  Gyirmot are gone at the other end.  Ten points adrift, one win since September.  Which means it comes down to any five teams for the last spot.  Ujpest and Mezokovesd both have pretty disastrous form which never bodes well for this time of the year whereas MTK and Debrecen are picking up a win every other game which would be enough to dig themselves out of trouble.  Diosgyor’s four point gap from safety may be decisive when the day of reckoning arrives.
 
That five-point gap may get bigger before it gets smaller.  Disogyor welcome table-topping Honved for a rare round of midweek matches.  MTK play Szombathely at home (expecting lots of away fans will have made the three hour trip for a 18.00 kick-off) and Debrecen host Mezokovesd.  It could all be very different after that lot with Diosgyor being six points adrift or all five teams within three points of each other.
 
It is all getting very interesting.
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Next – So grey
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